Assamese Food Festival. Part Two - During my growing up days, going to a restaurant was a treat, most days we ate at home, a traditional Sindhi meal- Curry Chawal, Sai Bhajji or simple veg...
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
If I had been able to store all my books that I have bought during many years (and not having lost any, during my migrations and uprooting, that has happened about five times in my life), I would have had a very huge library.. Before the internet occupied my comfort zone, I could never go to sleep without reading a book…and during the daytime too,(to avoid conversation with a stranger) reading was my savior, any and every reading material was important to me, be it a magazine, or a thick novel, a children’s story book or granny’ spiritual book, and sometimes even a wrapper of my bhelpuri or a peanut packet. (I would transfer the peanuts into my palm, open the conical packet, straighten it and read the contents while I munched on the peanuts) Even during traveling in a bus, whenever I shifted my gaze from my book, and peeped out of window, it would be to read the signs on the road, scripts on hoardings and even the shop names. If my co-passenger was reading and I would find myself peeping into their book (curious to know what they are reading) or pick up a sentence to mull about. But now…..Alas! My reading habits have found a new home and my computer is my library. Moreover, I need glasses to read and this has limited my reading habit. (Especially traveling a short distance, it is cumbersome, to remove the specs from my purse to read a book, and then remember to put it away carefully before you alight the transport.) Nowadays, I buy only one book at a time, and it follows a particular sequence, I buy a book, read it and pass it on. (I think I have reached Nirvana because I have no more attachment to anything, not even to my books.) I just have few collection of books left which I have managed to store them at different spots in the house (actually I don’t have enough space). And everybody is welcomed to pick up any book from my shelf and keep it. I don’t care if they forget to return it…..I can survive. I enjoy books that have a story stretching over several years; also I like to read biographies, success stories, humor, suspense, thriller, adventure and romance. I don’t like reading books such as ‘Self Help Books’ ‘Self development’, ‘How to…’ or ‘Self Improvement’ books because I want to learn from my own experience. If someone recommends me to read a particular book, and if I trust her choice, then I always read it…. I am always curious to know my friend’s selection of books.…….and luv to know what they are reading.....
Friday, 20 March 2009
Darn! This doorbell…why must this ring? I hate answering doorbells, especially if it is vegetable seller, fruit seller, sweeper, Phone Company or some stupid courier service. I think I prefer snail mails (although they are extinct now-a-days), What I liked about sanil mail was that they would just drop the letters in my letterbox and I would pick it up whenever I feel like it, but with these couriers that are frequent, I have to get up forcibly, wean myself from this huge screen and attend to this courier fellow, take the post, sign a form and take my unimportant mail that is announcing some silly sale, somewhere in the town. (I must remember not to give my address to these boutiques henceforth) why do I need new clothes? I hardly ever go out. Most of my friends are there on the FB. And they don’t care what I wear, I could be wearing just underclothes for that matter…..…who cares!...arrgh… I get very angry when I am on computer playing word twirl or lexulous, trying so hard to think up of a seven letter word and this stupid door bell rings. Or sometimes I am chatting with my friend on Face book, the conversation that I have on face book (with the person whom I have never met) seems to be more important than the phone call that I receive from a family member. I so badly want to end the conversation on the phone to continue talking with my fingers with a friend on other other end of this cable contact. And today, when I was chatting with one of my FB friend, the doorbell rang again…now I am having very interesting conversation, my friend finds me very friendly and jovial and here the door bell is wacking my brain, and I run to my door to answer before her next chat continues, there is this fisherwoman at the door. She sells the best fish in my building and saves me the trip of going to that stinking fish market, but I am afraid that my FB friend will go offline if I take too long in answering her, so even though I so badly need the fish, I tell her bluntly that I don’t eat fish anymore…and run back to my computer. That conversation with the fisherwoman must have taken me only two minutes (just nodding and repeating “no, no, I really don’t want” just five times) but my friend is already offline! I go back to my door to see if I can buy the fish intead, and she has gone too….darn! I will have to go to fish market or skip the fish meal… This internet illness is really eating off my brains. My pots and pans are getting blacker by day, because I remember to keep tea/veggies on the gas for cooking but forget to take it off when it ready and am reminded only when I can feel the disaster through my nose (my maid suggests that I use pressure cooker, now how do I make tea in pressure cooker?) Everyday I promise myself that I will chop off my habit on the net, but hardly an hour goes by with that promise and I am itching to see the red blinker on FB, and like a zombie I am back on this compu chair, Suddenly this red dot (on the FB) has started haunting me, (some times even in my dreams) I so badly want to see those compliments on my FB walls which I secretly hope that my 200+ friends are also reading and forming a good impression about me… i have lately started feeling very proud of myself, posting notes, tagging people and sending virtual gifts with tight squeaky hugs. I m getting to be popular, but I think I am cut off from my real world. I have not seen nor met my neighbor for more that 15 days, I am thinking of inviting my next door neighbor to the face book, that way I will be able to communicate with her, specially when I m short of one onion or potato and I need to borrow in emergency. my virtual friends will not help me there… See what I mean?????
Monday, 16 March 2009
After the success of slumdog millionair I had ranted on my blog at at my earlier post However… Although too mediocre a film, it has made a difference to our Mumbai’s slum world and it will be remembered for a long time…. All heads turn towards our city. Children have earned all at such a tender age after the success of the film, homes, stipends, benefits for their families and a trip to the U.S. Children also got chance of making a trip to Disney world and posing with Mickey Mouse. The tinsel town cannot stop raving about Freida Pinto in magazines such as ‘Vogue’ and ‘Cosmopolitan and on many more mags as the cover girl. Freida portrays a different style and look with elegant attire and the Hollywood movie offers have started piling, we will even see her as new James Bond girl. Anil Kapoor ascended at Paramount Studios in Hollywood for the ‘Montblanc Signature for Good’ event. It was a high profile gala hosted by Montblanc in support of UNICEF’s education and literacy programs Rehman got the well deserved recognition. Beggars at street signal are not ignored any more, their amputee limb brings tears to one’s eye when we recall the torture behind that tragedy. PS:* My friend tell me that shit pit (shown in the film) was not actually a shit, but the melted chocolate.* So what are we cribbing about??
Thursday, 12 March 2009
Little cute terrorists came down in the building compound with their water guns that looked like colorful machine guns, splashing water with great gusto on each others faces. I approached the children in my compound, focusing on their moods through my lens and their playfulness is clearly visible. Holi is the festival of colors and it has not lost its charm in India, not as yet. I am not sure if Indian kids spend too much time on the net, but here, the children in my compound, come every evening, to spend the time with their friends. And they are seen to spend some wonderful time with their friends, inventing games and enjoying each other’s company like we used to (when we were young) and they still enjoy all the festivals of India. Holi is one festival that is enjoyed by all age groups But is Holi a naughty festival? Do guys get seduced watching girls in clinging wet clothes? In my building compound they had a weird way (well that’s what I might say now, with tinge of jealousy, although I am not sure whether it is weird) to celebrate Holi. The drummers were called and all the youngsters danced at the beat of the drums. A big water tanker was hired for the day and the youngster splashed gallons and gallons of water on each other from the thick hose and then jumped in a big tank of colored water, splashing the water at each other and laughing for no reason at all. The dark color on their faces refuse to fade but their clothes sank deeper and deeper into their body curves. My friend tells me that he gets chance to touch his crush. Well I am sure nobody minds touching. Like they say “Burra mat mano, Holi hai” During Holi, must they play with water balloons? They bring buckets of water balloons and hide themselves behind the walls. Like hand bomb granates, they fling the water balloons on unsuspecting lady passerby, aiming the water balloon on her breast, happy to see her chest soak with water, and droplets dripping down her clothes, bringing pleasure to these mischief makers. Many girls are afraid of being the target of this embarrassment and prefer to stay home for fifteen days prior to this festival, Holi is the festival of colors but do they really use only color powders? The substitutes (red powder is what they are suppose to use) are terrible. Eggs, tomatoes, shoe polish, oil paints, mud, jam, jelly juice. The more innovative people get the more disgusting (or entertaining) it gets. Sometimes the paints are so stubborn, that the stains refused to fade and it creates rash on the face. Its fun, no it’s so gooey, no its fun, I can’t really decide. They head on to swim at the beach and remove the excess of stains. It is the time to have more fun, snacking and swimming, for the rest of the day. Phew!! Some festival!!!
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
However big we grow, we never cease to be a struggler. Life is the continuous stage of progress and we are learning new things everyday. A good student is one who realizes that he is ignorant and is willing to learn. The day, he thinks that he knows everything; that will be the last day of his creative mind. A good student is one who is able to use his intellect to discriminate the right from wrong. He is able to use his intellect to let go of things that are not important to him, he should be able to decide when to make contact between senses and intelligence and nurses a desire for liberation. If we are living in any urban state, we are likely to have many visitors. But what is our attitude towards our visitors? We are very hospitable. We go out of our way to be kind to them; we take them out for shopping, movies and try to accommodate them, sometimes beyond our limits. Do we really have to go to that extreme and inconvenience our self? Do we need to shelf our own duties for our guests? Or, on the other hand, sometimes we think they are invading our private space. We are afraid that if we are nice to them, they might stay for ever. We start being rude to them and spoil the relationship. This is situation when we need to discriminate where we can draw the line. We have intellect to make proper discrimination and make proper choice. It is no use going for instant pleasure. We must have courage to give up what is not important. We have to focus on waste disposal of unimportant things. We have intellect to discriminate right from wrong. If we clutter our life with too many unwanted things then we get restless. It is believed that Eisten had only four identical suits in his ward robe. He did not want to waste even one moment in deciding what to wear. But what do we do? We have so much greed that we want to buy everything that we see our friends buying. We have no room to store and we keep cluttering our house with unwanted things. How many shoes can we wear on our two feet? Do we really need hundred pairs of shoes? And for what? There are some, who will borrow jewelry from their friends to wear it for an occasion. Why? Do we really need to impress people? If we don’t have, it okay not to have, why can’t we be content with whatever we have? We sacrifice our own happiness by living the ways of the world. The true happiness lies in being contend with whatever we have. Aping others is sure to make us miserable. We have to learn the art of self control and mind control. We should be able to control our emotions, our desires, anger, and jealousy. These emotions are killers of our happiness. We have to seek the higher goal of liberation and we should be able to differentiate the freedom from bondage of unimportant desires.
Thursday, 5 March 2009
Today my maid comes to work with a perforated black plaster on her ankle and I am curious. When I ask her, she says that the black plaster will ease pain from her knees and her back. She is constantly in pain but she does not take any leave of absence. I feel very guilty of making her work for me, especially when she is so much in pain. I have never cut her salary if she skips a day of absence but still she is always very regular. I am sure that if she was to work only for me, then she would take holiday when she is unwell. But unfortunately, she works for three more families, doing the same work day after day, everyday. People in India are very lazy and they get agitated when their maid does not turn up for work. Whenever she is absent, she is loaded with extra work on her return. Such is the life of people who are uneducated and poor. She realizes this and hopes that her children will be educated so that they don’t suffer like her. But the environment that they live is not conducive for education. There are many distractions, where she lives and the children who live in the slums, spent most of their time playing on the streets or, trying to earn a living for their parents by begging on streets or working in some industry. So, where is the time to study? There are many NGOs who try to provide food, clothing and clean environment, some of them conduct free classes for them but the initiative should come from children themselves and from their parents. If they show no interest in studying, what can any NGO do? For that matter, what can anybody do?
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
There a direct link between the state of heart and state of mind. Whenever we are disturbed and agitated, we cannot concentrate and we lose interest in everything. Our mind is all the time preoccupied with worry and we cannot find solutions. We have no interest in food, play or any sensual activities. What do we do? Will talking to people help? I think nobody can help us. People might be sympathetic to us, try to give us solutions and might even try to pacify us but they cannot help us overcome our agitation. Only we can help ourselves. First and foremost, it is important that we don’t expect help and learn to deal with it. There are many things that we cannot change, so it is better to accept it. We can try our bit to change it but that is all we can do. We cannot expect others to do what we think is right. For example, there is so much corruption around us. Everybody is out to cheat. They expect bribery and will make things difficult for us if we do not oblige. So what do we do? If bribery and corruption is against our principle, we stick to it and not encourage it and face the discomfort. We can do our bit by standing firm by our principles and face the consequences. But can we stop our friends to stand by our principles? No. We cannot. They have to make their choice. Every body has their own intellect and it depends how they train their intellect. If they make wrong choices, it is because their intellect is weak or it is sleeping. They have to awaken their intellect so that their mind decides what is right. We all have to do our own obligatory duties; we cannot expect fruits for every action that we make, but what needs to be done, should be done. If our concentration is shifted from our duty to do what is necessary, to expecting fruit for our action, the quality of our work will suffer. For maintaining a healthy balance between our mind and heart, it is important to do what is right and not agitate our intellect by compressing it against our senseless desires.
I have poor memory therefore I tend to forget the good and the bad times easily. What is past is forgotten, each day I try my best that my ...